Neck Pain Overview
Many Tyler, Texas residents will experience neck pain or stiffness at one point or another. Neck pain is most commonly caused by muscle tension and strain, but it can also be caused by whiplash, a fall or contact sports. Fortunately, neck pain can typically be relieved in a few days with at-home measures such as rest, ice and heat therapy and over-the-counter medications. In severe cases of prolonged pain, a pain physician may be required to determine the exact cause of discomfort and to provide a pain management treatment plan. The physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to diagnose and treat both acute and chronic neck pain in East Texas residents.
Neck Pain Causes
The neck, also known as the cervical spine, is composed of numerous vertebrae that extend from the upper torso to the skull. Cervical discs are located between the vertebrae and are designed to absorb shock when the body and head is in motion, as well as support the head. When an injury to any of these structures occurs, individuals often experience neck pain, stiffness and general discomfort.
Neck pain severity ranges from a mild annoyance to a chronic debilitating condition. Neck pain can be sharp or stabbing in one location, cause a stiff neck that hinders movement of the head or cause tenderness and soreness in one general area. More severe cases may cause individuals to experience radiating pain, numbness, weakness and/or tinging down into the shoulders, arms and fingers, as well as difficulty gripping items. In more severe cases of neck pain, a pain physician is typically required to treat the true cause of discomfort.
Neck pain is most often associated with muscle strain and tension. Common examples include poor posture, extended hours of working at a desk, jerking the head during activities and sleeping with the neck in a poor position.
Neck pain can also occur after a traumatic event, especially a car accident, fall or sporting collision. Pain often occurs after a traumatic event because the ligaments and muscles of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range of motion. Other causes of neck pain include disc degeneration as the body naturally ages, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, herniated cervical discs, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Neck Pain Treatment by a Pain Physician
If mild to moderate neck pain persists for more than one week, it is best to contact a pain physician for a consultation. A physician should also be contacted if pain is associated with weakness, numbness, tingling, radiating pain, a headache, a lump in the neck or nausea and vomiting.
A pain physician determines the correct pain management treatment plan based on the diagnosis, medical history and physical examination. Common neck pain treatments include physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, spinal decompression, medications, injection therapy, a neck collar, massage therapy and ergonomic changes at home and work.
If you live in the greater Tyler, Texas area and are experiencing acute or chronic neck pain, please contact the pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for an appointment.